NHL Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, Oilers, and Rangers
Today’s latest NHL Rumors takes a look at the Buffalo Sabres as a new potential landing spot for Jakob Chychrun.
Plus, the Florida Panthers are looking to unload a player for cap space. The Edmonton Oilers are in the market for a forward, and is Gerard Gallant on the hot seat in New York?
NHL Rumors: Sabres dark horse for Jakob Chychrun
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is playing hockey again after taking a long time to recover from a wrist injury. That also means that the trade talk surrounding him has been invigorated.
On Saturday’s HNIC 32 Thoughts segment, Jeff Marek provided an interesting new team to add to the mix.
“[Chychrun] is back and healthy so we’ll fire up the trade talk. You’ll hear about the likely candidates like the Islanders, the Kings, and the Blue Jackets,” Marek said. “We’re wondering about a dark horse candidate in the Buffalo Sabres.”
Marek cited that GM Kevyn Adams has said he’s sticking with youth but the Sabres have been leaning heavily on their top three defensemen, especially Rasmus Dahlin.
Chychrun, 24, has three points in three games this season and actually would be a perfect fit for what the Sabres are building.
The former first round pick will cost them, but he’s a proven commodity with 145 points in 340 career games. His contract is also excellent as he has another two seasons remaining at $4.6 million.
NHL Rumors: Panthers cap crunch trade
There’s been a lot of noise surrounding the cap-strapped Florida Panthers lately.
“(The Panthers are) looking around the league to see what options are available to them in terms of freeing up some cap space,” Pagnotta said.TFP
Two names that are being discussed to be moved for cap savings are veterans Patric Hornqvist and Anthony Duclair.
Hornqvist, 35, has just two points in 18 games this season. He will be a UFA and comes with a $5.3 million cap hit. Moving him to a team that will take his full salary means attaching a high draft pick in order to make it happen.
Duclair, 27, is currently injured and recovering from Achilles surgery. His entire $3 million cap hit is on LTIR and the Panthers will need to make a move when he returns in about a month. Last season, he scored 31 goals and 58 points in 74 games.
Of the two, he’s the most attractive trade piece.
Oilers looking for depth forwards
The Edmonton Oilers won’t be getting Evander Kane back for another 3-4 months after a deep cut to his wrist. That has them in the market for some forward help.
“One thing I think the Oilers are looking at are some depth forwards who are edgy or can grind,” Elliotte Friedman said in HNIC. “The feeling is since Evander Kane went out that they’re a lot easier to ply against. They’re tight on the cap but can they find a budget player or two that can make a difference on their forward depth.”
I expect the Oilers to be able to work something out for a depth forward soon. One interesting name could be Sammy Blais from the New York Rangers. The 26 year-old checking forward will be a UFA this summer and makes just $1.525 million.
Rangers’ Gerard Gallant hot seat?
Speaking of the Rangers, who imploded against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in the third period, there’s some questions if head coach Gerard Gallant is on the hot seat.
When Drury got the job last May, he fired his old friend David Quinn and started the search for an impact hire behind the bench. He had high hopes that either Mike Sullivan or Rod Brind’Amour would leave their Metro Division gigs at the time; neither did, and the Rangers opted for Gallant. If GM and owner are still pining for a headline name as a coach, Barry Trotz is out there, unemployed.Arthur Staple, The Athletic (subscription required)
It really is way too early to put last year’s Jack Adams finalist for coach of the year on the hot seat. However, with Barry Trotz out there it’s not out of the question if these bad losses continue.